The mayor of a small upstate New York town has resigned after he was arrested for possessing child pornography, authorities said.
Rick Nelson, who up until last Thursday was the mayor of the Village of Stillwater, has been charged with one felony count each of promoting a sexual performance by a child and one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child, NBC New York reports. Police began looking into the 62-year-old after seeing an IP address in Stillwater that had downloaded child pornography images. After obtaining a warrant, cops arrested Nelson after searching his house.
“This has been an incredibly difficult day for the Village of Stillwater and we’re certainly going to be facing some challenging times ahead,” Deputy Mayor Frank Tatum wrote on the town’s website. “But we are a very dedicated group and I am confident that we will get past this.”
According to the Albany Times-Union, this isn’t Nelson’s first issue with the law:
The Times Union published a story Saturday that described three criminal cases involving Nelson more than three decades ago that involved the now former mayor being charged with sexual misconduct, sex abuse and rape of three teenage girls. Two cases involved students who rode his bus while he was a driver in the Stillwater school district. In 1975, Nelson had an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal issued by a town justice in a sexual misconduct case and he was acquitted in a jury trial of the more serious rape and sex abuse charges in 1986.
The Stillwater school district also handled a complaint against Nelson in 1982 that alleged he had inappropriate contact with a 5-year-old on his bus. The child was switched to a different bus and Nelson had a disciplinary note put in his file, according to coverage of the case at the time.
Nelson’s son, Patrick, is currently running for congress in the state’s 21st Congressional District.